We had it pretty good in Texas.
Everything’s bigger in Texas. The Walmart in town is the biggest I’ve ever seen, even offering 3 liter sodas. There was a barbeque joint just outside of town that had steaks that were the size of medium pizzas. If you didn’t own a truck, you were in the minority. And apparently if you weren’t Caucasian or Mexican, you were still in the minority.
Even though we spent only two years there, it was long enough to call it home. In fact, we bought our first home in San Angelo, just outside Goodfellow Air Force Base. We found a seven year old, 1800 square foot home with a huge back yard that backed up to train tracks. That was an added bonus for our son M who at the age of 2 was a huge Thomas the Tank Engine fan.
We have always felt like family when we’re together but something about that house made it feel like home. Maybe it was the large kitchen with ample counter space where my husband Boats discovered his love for cooking. Maybe it was the roomy backyard to give M space to run around. It didn’t matter that San Angelo was a small town with very little to do. Being together whether it was enjoying a backyard barbecue, ordering a pizza, or renting a movie was enough for us.
To top it all of, my husband was an instructor with predictable work hours and never deployed. The base had an excellent child care facility that M loved. I was able to work as a substitute teacher and tutor part-time. Later we adopted a rescue dog or rather, the dog adopted us.
No wonder we had it good. Life was simpler then. Easier.
Two years later, my husband had an opportunity to transfer to Virginia. He’d been working toward this particular job his entire naval career. Not only would we have to leave our home, he warned he would be deployed. A lot.
I wondered if we could keep our house, renting it out until he retired. How often would he deploy? I already went through two four-month deployments with a newborn. I wanted to go back to work but knew that wasn’t possible since we had another baby on the way.
Sadly we sold the house. My husband reasoned that we wouldn’t be able to live in San Angelo after he retired. Both our families were on the west coast, too far for our kids to grow up with their cousins.
I knew he was right.
But when I drive through our town full of McMansions and SUV egos, I can’t help but miss the simpler life. No one honked if you drove too slow. If you noticed you were driving too slow, you’d pull over and wave at the driver behind you to pass. Then he’d wave at you and call out, “Have a good one!” without any irony whatsoever.
I find myself thinking about Texas tonight. About the simpler life. There wasn’t a rush to go anywhere or get anything. It was just about slowing down and enjoying everything life handed your way.
Here’s to slowing down. Have a good one.